Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Gold sales from Australia’s Perth Mint, which refines most of the bullion from the second-biggest producer, increased in December from a month earlier as bullion capped the biggest annual loss in more than three decades.
Sales of gold coins and minted bars expanded 12 percent to 58,944 ounces in December from 52,700 in November, the mint said in a statement today. Silver sales were 845,941 ounces last month from 807,246 in November, it said.
Gold fell 28 percent last year for the first annual drop since 2000 and biggest loss since 1981 as an improving U.S. economy cut demand. Investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value as equities rallied and the recovery prompted the U.S. Federal Reserve to pare its bond-buying program. Holdings in the 14 biggest gold-backed exchange-traded products tracked by Bloomberg contracted 33 percent in 2013, data show.
Gold sales from the Perth Mint ranged from 112,575 ounces in April to 30,430 in August, according to data from the mint. Sales averaged about 64,357 ounces a month since March, according to Bloomberg calculations.
The U.S. Mint sold 14 percent more American Eagle gold coins last year and sales climbed 17 percent to 56,000 ounces in December, according to data on the mint’s website.
--Editors: Jake Lloyd-Smith, Thomas Kutty Abraham